Political Debates

@ZephyrSun (7385)
United States
October 13, 2010 8:19am CST
I was just reading about the arrest of a Green Party candidate in California being arrested for trying to enter the debate for the Governor's office (officials said she was trying to use fake tickets). She apparently wasn't invited because she is lacking in the polls. So, that got me to thinking that the people really do not get a chance to be exposed to other parties when they are not allowed to "debate" with the major candidates. It seems pretty common that most states only allow the Democrats and Republicans to debate, although, on rare occasions I have seen a third party in a debate. Does your state allow everyone on the ballot to enter the debate? Do you believe that everyone should be allowed to debate as long as they are on the ballot? Do you think that allowing other parties to take place in the debate it would expose and expand third parties?
2 people like this
6 responses
@jb78000 (15173)
13 Oct 10
who decides which parties get to debate? oh, let me guess. republicans and democrats. those in power kind of have a vested interest in making sure only they and their nearly identical sister party are the only ones that get much exposure.
3 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
13 Oct 10
I'm not sure, I know here in Ohio that it's the 2 candidates with the most votes. I would assume the other states do it that way as well but, I can't say for certain. My city just elected it's mayor last year and there was a Democrat and an Independent on the ballot so they debated.
3 people like this
@Rollo1 (16686)
• Boston, Massachusetts
13 Oct 10
In my state, the participants in a debate is usually decided by whichever organization sponsors the debate. The sponsor also determines who will ask questions and moderate as well as how many questions, the time limits, the forum location, etc. Our gubernatorial debate was co-sponsored by a local newspaper and a local college and included all four candidates - the Democrat, the Republican, the Independent (who started out as a Dem in the primary but lost that race) and the Green Party candidates. My local representative race was sponsored by a town organization devoted to education and there are only two candidates, but the Democrat refused to attend.
@xfahctor (14131)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
13 Oct 10
Debates are sponsored and held by a variety of institutions, none of them government though. Universities, media outlets, etc mostly. Zeph,I am with you wholly on the issue of exlusions of candidates in debates, I plan on adressing this in a lot more detail in my on post below when i get there. Just wanted to give ya props for recognizing and pointing out a major problem in our elections.
2 people like this
@xfahctor (14131)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
13 Oct 10
It is an entrenched canerous mentality as well as a good ol boy system. Candidates with out a "d" or an "r" next to them don't exist,aren't relevant, "can't win", people "aren't interested in them"....or so the two parties and the media they trade pocket luvin' with. They want you to beileve these candiates aren't "viable" or "can't win." You don't even often see too many thirders and indies even being interviewed on any of the big 3. How often do you see MSNBC give time to the socialist party or the Green party? even Fox is guilty, for a network oportunisticly jumping on the freedom wagon you don't see an awefull lot of libertian candiates being given time. All they push is that bogus commercialized republican hijacked "Tea Party" and their favorite "constitutionaly conciencious" candidates like Michell Bachman, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich (Really? Gingrich???). Obama's campaign alone by the way spent a good deal of money trying to keep candidates off the ballot in the past election by the way....so did McCain's campaign...it'sanother sickening aspect of the entrenched problem Bottom line it's an entrenched system that everyone seems to be brainwashed in to accepting. Alternative candidates "can't win" or "aren't valid" because we allow it to be so. We do not demand enough coverage of them, or that the media and political cohorts who do their best to invalidate the others, stop doing so. Start boycots of the networks' sponsors until they begin changing this. Work in your own states to get election laws reformed and demand legislation in your states that makes it easier for candidates to get on the ballot. right now, many states have ballot laws that are pretty much desinged so that only a huge national party can afford to and jump through the hoops to get on it. Is yours one of these states folks? If it is do something about it. And finally and most importantly...if you support these guys,then for farque's sake -support, campaign and VOTE FOR THEM.
3 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
13 Oct 10
Oh um so you don't like the fact that third parties have trouble getting into debates LOL I think that third parties should take advantage of the social network sites to help them in their plight. It's so hard to find out information, like this year I would vote for a third party if they weren't crazy and we had like views because both of my candidates stink. I think my local area would be a great place for third parties. The "Tea Party" person is a nutcase but, a lot of people are not happy with the Democrats; someone could win a lot of votes. Our local GOP party always picks the biggest losers they can find and sometimes they don't put anyone on the ballot.
2 people like this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
15 Oct 10
"Crazy" regarding these candidates is often defined by a either a private belief that has nothing to do with their job, Christine O'Donnell has gotten plenty of that, or just a misunderstanding of why they oppose something such as Ron Paul's opposition to the Department of Education. Many think that means he is "anti-education" or something ridiculous like that. I myself had to do some research to fully understand his stance on that issue a few years ago. Now that's not to say some of those 3rd party people aren't crazy, because some of them DEFINITELY are. Cynthia McKinney is a perfect example. Many though are no crazier than the constitution as the two big parties seem to think that supporting that is either crazy, extreme, or both.
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
13 Oct 10
Tonight on the local PBS station AETN the Boozman vs Lincoln for senate debate is also going to feature the Green party candidate John Gary and Independent candidate Trevor Drown. Typically if the debate is air and therefor moderated by AETN they will allow all the candidate who have ballot statues. Earlier there was a debate between the two of them air on the local Fox station which only featured only the two of them. I would like it to be that everyone who has ballot statues be able to be apart of the debate. If I have the ability to vote for them I should be able to hear what they have to say about the issues. Maybe they can make a better case than the two big party candidates.
2 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
13 Oct 10
Our PSB less each candidate make a "commercial". They are allowed to say what they stand for and why they would make a good person for that position. I never knew they did this until this year. The Republican wanted to smear the Democrat and PBS wouldn't let that happen and the woman had a fit.
1 person likes this
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
13 Oct 10
The problem is hat this year all Republicans have is how bad the Democratic candidate is. I mean when you are running to the outraged platform issues don't really matter.
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16686)
• Boston, Massachusetts
13 Oct 10
AARP sponsored the California gubernatorial debate so it was the AARP who refused to invite the Green Party candidate. I think that the democratic process is best served in principle when all candidates on the ballot are allowed to debate. These debates often exclude candidates with no chance of winning, the irrelevant outliers on any poll or graph, but in order for third party candidates to ever have a chance to get their positions known, we have to include them. They may never gain support or win, but the people have a right to know in order to choose rightly.
2 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
13 Oct 10
The article I read on cnn had not said who sponsored the debate. The article itself made me wonder how much the citizens are missing by not having everyone debate. I could see where it would get long if there was say 12 candidates on the ballot but, being excluded just seems a little unjust for the voters. Like here in Ohio I feel like not voting for governor because I don't like either one of the morons on the ballot. I didn't vote for the Democrat in office the last time and the Republican has a lot of ideas that I don't agree with. I guess for once Rollo we agree
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
13 Oct 10
Now if she really did try to use fake tickets, I can't support that, but good for her on trying to get in. I remember a while back, 2000 if I remember correctly, Alan Keyes was arrested for trying to force his way into a debate in Atlanta, GA when he wasn't invited. The mayor actually bailed him out and apologized. I think that if someone meets the criteria for being on the ballot, they should be included in the debates. The media is responsible for a lot of these debates and they are 100% in the tank of the 2 party system. During the entire 2008 campaign they just pretended the other candidates didn't exist. I saw Nader only ONCE on TV during that time when he was on Fox News. The other candidates got nothing. When McCain "suspended" his campaign Bob Barr wanted to debate Obama in his place. Of course that never made the news and the people running the debate turned him down saying they would just allow Obama to treat it like a town hall with the attendees rather than debate a candidate besides McCain. You can see that when made visible, 3rd parties get a solid support from voters as Perot did back in 92. The only reason he was in those debates was because Bush demanded he be included. That move cost him the election, but it was still the right thing to do. In 96 Dole didn't feel the same way and allowed Perot to be excluded from all the debates. As a result Perot got about half as many votes.
1 person likes this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
13 Oct 10
I agree, I couldn't support her faking her way in. It would not be a good sign. Maybe Big Bush just wanted Perot to get in on it and see Americans weren't really interested in seeing any other parties. I know politicians never do anything out of the kindness of their hearts.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
14 Oct 10
I can't speak to Bush 41's motives, but I don't think anyone would argue that it was not in his best interest to include Perot. The only other person to do what he did was Reagan, so perhaps it was a long held opinion by him and Reagan both that more than two candidates should be included. In Reagan's case it was a libertarian candidate and Jimmy Carter REFUSED to be at the debate with him present. In Reagan's case that actually helped him as a fair part of the debate, which Reagan won, was apparently spent criticizing Carter for not showing up.
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
17 Oct 10
This is a very interesting issue. AS others have already said, it's the sponsor of a debate that gets to make the rules, including choosing which candidates are "allowed" to participate. Most of the time it seems it's just the Democratic and Republican candidates, although there are exceptions now and then. The interesting thing is the excuse usually given for excluding third party candidates is that they don't poll well enough; in fact, some organizations only invite candidates who poll at a certain percentage. The problem is, how can someone poll well when most people have never heard of them? How can people become familiar with them if the media doesn't give them any exposure and they're not allowed to participate in debates? For all that I'm constantly accused of being totally loyal to the Democratic Party, I've long wished for there to be more successful third party and independent candidates. However, I've got to be honest here, I'm VERY reluctant to vote for a third party candidate if it means I'll be helping one of the major parties' candidates get elected, especially if the person I'd be helping is someone I don't support at all! I know I'll get some criticism for saying that but it is what it is. That's why I'd like for these candidates to get more exposure and to be allowed to debate because I think that would make a world of difference. Annie
1 person likes this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
17 Oct 10
I can fully understand about voting for a third party. Our governor is up for reelection and I can't stand him but, his opponent is worse. So I'll have to vote for the current guy because he is closer to my views than the other one.
1 person likes this